Somerset County volunteer fire department at odds over new terms made by Board of Fire Commissioners

The Franklin Township Board of Fire Commissioners presented six new terms to the Franklin Township Volunteer Fire Department Station 27.

Amanda Lee

Jun 12, 2024, 2:28 AM

Updated 39 days ago

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A volunteer Somerset County fire department is fighting to remain in service amid a dispute with the local Board of Fire Commissioners.
The Franklin Township Board of Fire Commissioners presented six new terms to the Franklin Township Volunteer Fire Department Station 27. If the fire department does not agree to the new terms, their entire apparatus could be taken by June 30.
“If the contract doesn't get approved by us, they're taking the four fire trucks away, leaving everybody around here without fire protection,” says East Franklin Fire Department Chief Danny Krushinski.
The terms include having cameras on fire vehicles, not taking fire department vehicles home, not drinking alcohol four hours before operating an apparatus, staying in full gear within a hot zone, not allowing the fire chief to refute policies and not covering firefighters' personal belongings if they're damaged at a scene.
Station 27 has disagreed with all of these terms.
"Ever since the board was here it was always run by 27. They've always had the upper hand here but see now we've got a new board; we have regular people here,” says Sherod Middleton, chairman of the Franklin Township Fire Commissioners.
Station 27 has 60 active firefighters that service nearly 30,000 residents.
Mayor Phil Kramer says that it might be best for an arbitrator to get involved to make the decision.


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